Berkeley: Jayakarta

This Friday, I was lucky enough to get to take of tour of Pixar Studios.  I first heard that Pixar was located in Emeryville, just a short bus ride from Berkeley, back in undergrad.  Not gonna lie, I kinda geeked out.  I immediately went online to research how to get a tour, only to find that Pixar isn't open to the public.  You actually have to know someone who works there in order to get in.

Our lucky break came when one of CL's Stanford friends started working at Pixar.  BOOYAH.

From the moment we entered the gates, I started squealing.  Poor AF, CL, and CL's friends had to put up with it the entire time we were inside.

I was still reeling from the experience when we sat down for dinner at Jayakarta in Berkeley:























The restaurant was completely full when we first walked in, but luckily a table opened up fairly quickly:

















AF, CL, CL's brother, and I agreed to go family style, while all of CL's friends wanted to order their own individual dishes.  Since CL's parents hail from Indonesia, AF and I sat back and let Cl and her brother do all the ordering.

The four of us started with an order of perkedel:























Perkedel is a fried patty made of ground potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.

Then came the kari ayam telor or yellow chicken curry:

















I don't know how the curry is supposed to taste, but this one was a bit watered down in my opinion.

Of course we ordered the rendang:

















I don't know if Jayakarta switched chefs since our days in undergrad or if it tempered its recipe for the American palate, but the rendang was not even a tiny bit spicy.  I remember my mouth being on fire when I had this back in undergrad.

AF wanted beef tripe, so that's what we asked for in our nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice):

















Unfortunately, the beef tripe was unappealingly dry.  Maybe beef tripe just isn't meant for stir frying.

The kangkung was a nice surprise:

















The shrimp paste chili sauce used to saute the water spinach and fried tofu was very pungent (in a good way) and really made the dish.

My favorite, however, was something that I specifically asked for, the krupuk udang:























I love shrimp chips in general, but what makes these shrimp chips special is the thick peanut sauce that comes with it.  So damn yummy.

There were a lot more misses than hits that night and while that makes me sad, I have to face the truth.  Jayakarta has always been my standard for Indonesian cuisine, but I may now have to reevaluate.


Jayakarta
2026 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 841-0884
http://www.jayakartarestaurant.bravehost.com/

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